Neon: Maliit Keyboard Now Available on Wayland

We have updated the Maliit keyboard package to Maliit 2 and released it to Neon user edition. This gives a virtual keyboard which you can use, handy for convertible laptops with a removeable keyboard. It only runs when using Wayland so make sure to select that at login. There is a module in System Settings to select the keyboard and it should be intelligent enough to only run when you don’t have a physical keyboard plugged in.

Stuck Updates Fix

When rolling out a new feature that lets you skip (offline) updates on boot-up earlier this week we have messed up and also brought in a nasty bug that prevents updates from applying. Unfortunately we can’t automatically rectify this problem because, well, updates are never applied.

In case you find Discover showing the same updates over and over again, even after rebooting to apply the update, you may be affected.

To resolve this problem simply press the ‘c’ key on your keyboard when the boot screen is saying “Preparing system updates… press ‘c’ to cancel”. When you have done this once, ‘c’ will behave correctly for future updates and cancel the update if you want to cancel the update temporarily to get to your desktop quickly.

If pressing ‘c’ for one update does not resolve your problems you are definitely afflicted by a different issue. Particularly when discover informs you of pending updates, but when you open the application there are none listed that’d be a different problem.

See also Bug 438809 – offline updates are not installed on restart

KDE neon now on Linux 5.8

Here at KDE neon we pride ourselves on giving you the latest from KDE built pronto and QAed and shipped to you with no questions asked. We also base on the stable Ubuntu LTS 20.04 release giving a generally stable system. If you want an updated version of an app which isn’t from KDE we advise you to use a non-distro package from the Snap store, AppImage or Flatpak. But Linux has one property which is still inconvenient for the end user even the more nerdy of end users, which is that drivers are shipped with the Linux version you get and there’s no stable programmer interface for them so they can’t easily be shipped externally. That means if you use Linux 5.4 which is what comes with KDE neon and Ubuntu 20.04 you will get drivers which are a few years old, which is no good for those shiny new AMD Radeon graphics chips. So we’ve now switched the installable images to the HWE build which brings in Linux 5.8. Neon installs should just install it on upgrade and use it on the next boot. Chat on our forum and report bugs on bugs.kde.org as ever.

KDE neon 5.22 is Here

Plasma 5.22 was released yesterday and so the hard working continuous automation and continuous deployment guinea pigs at KDE neon compiled it all and bumped the version number and spun new installable ISOs and Docker images for you to try it. Existing users can just upgrade as normal.

Download the ISO from https://neon.kde.org/download and boot it up
Or try the docker image. Xephyr :2 -screen 1024x768 & docker run -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix -e DISPLAY=:2 --security-opt seccomp=unconfined kdeneon/plasma:user startplasma-x11

KDE neon’s Qt is Now Built from KDE’s Git Branches

Recently KDE started to maintain a collection of patches for Qt 5. This is because Qt 5 came to end of life with Qt 6 now released (KDE Frameworks has started the slow process of moving to Qt 6). With many Qt 5 users out there the Qt Company are selling a maintained verson of Qt 5 but for the community KDE has started a collection of patches to fix the bugs. In KDE neon we like to build everything in KDE directly from KDE so we have now moved to building Qt too. This means our Qt now calls itself 5.15.3. We also updated PyQt to 5.14. Let us know if you find any problems.

The End of LTS Edition

More than 3 years ago we had taken a step back from our Plasma LTS Edition. It never quite fit into way KDE neon works as a product, nor as a project. Plasma was caught in the past while the rest of the system kept rapidly leaping forward, resulting in a less than stellar user experience and a huge cost in maintenance. All the while it has always been the least used edition.

We have consequently decided to draw the only natural conclusion and end support for the KDE neon Plasma LTS edition on 2021-07-01.

For users that absolutely want to use Plasma LTS, we recommend that you instead look at one of the actual LTS distributions such as Kubuntu LTS or openSUSE Leap that try to maintain a stable system as a whole, not just the desktop.

If you would rather stick with neon, which we would of course prefer 💕, you’ll have to switch to the regular KDE neon User Edition. We have created a handy guide for this, available in the KDE UserBase Wiki.

Offline Updates are Here

A while ago we have talked to you about our plans to switch to offline updates, in an attempt at making the update experience more reliable.

After some testing we have now rolled out the change to all editions. For further details you can check out the previous blog post. As previously noted, this only affects the out of the box experience when using Plasma’s Discover for updates. Terminal applications and other GUIs are unaffected.

Offline Updates are Coming

For a very long time we’ve been paving the road for offline updates. We are excited to finally introduce the first step to the KDE neon Unstable Edition today and would love to hear your opinion in the forum.

Unlike regular updates offline updates are not applied immediately but are only download and marked for installation on the next system restart. This has the tremendous advantage that you no longer need to interrupt whatever you are doing to update the system. They also prevent the system from entering a curious state of inconsistency resulting in an increased chance of bugs and crashes just after updating. Previously you might have been angrily looked at by Firefox, had Dolphin crash on you, or even got locked out of the session because the lockscreen jumped off a cliff after you applied an update. The reason for this is that most complex pieces of software really do not fare well if essential files change out from under it. Offline updates solve this problem by simply moving the installation stage to a time when the system is in a less vulnerable state.

What is changing exactly?

Starting today if you use Discover to update your KDE neon Unstable installation, instead of immediately applying the update it will download the package and notify you that you need to restart to complete the update. Upon starting the next time the update is finally applied.

Any other package management frontend will not perform offline updates. This most notably also includes the terminal interfaces pkcon and apt-get. Application distribution systems such as flatpak and snap are equally unaffected by this because they generally are not able to break the same way as system software can.

You can still choose to prepare an offline update using pkcon if you prefer using the terminal:
pkcon update --only-download && pkcon offline-trigger

KDE neon Unstable Qt 6 Package Available

Today at KDE neon tower we are feeling cute. And sixy. We have an early-prototype-preview-no-stability-guaranteed Qt 6 package.

This is in the KDE neon Unstable edition so if you run that you can just

sudo apt install qt6
/usr/examples/widgets/widgets/digitalclock/digitalclock

And you’ll have a digital clock.

Or if you run any other distro you can use the Docker image, which would be something like:

docker run -v `pwd`:/workspace -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix -e DISPLAY=:0 --security-opt seccomp=unconfined -ti kdeneon/plasma:unstable bash
neon@68c3ba3fc955:~$ sudo apt update
...
neon@68c3ba3fc955:~$ sudo apt install qt6
...
export QT_PLUGIN_PATH=/usr/plugins
/usr/examples/widgets/widgets/digitalclock/digitalclock

It’s installed into /usr and Qt isn’t too smart about where it goes under that so the paths don’t follow FHS or Debian policy yet, that might change.

KDE neon 5.20

Our beautiful desktop Plasma 5.20 has been released and with it the version bump in KDE neon User Edition to 5.20.

KDE neon 5.20 installed running KDE neon 5.20 on Virtualbox and KDE neon 5.20 Docker image

To get it you can